Roger Ebert posted an interesting article based on a letter he received from the great editor Walter Murch. (http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/01/post_4.html) Buried among the 500-odd comments is my two cents:
One of the main reasons I feel that mainstream movies do not need 3D goes way back to the beginnings of cinema. Eisenstein’s definition of film is “a succession of images juxtaposed so that the contrast between these images move the story forward in the mind of the audience.” This very definition, which describes film beautifully, is summed up in our naming the medium of film as “Motion Pictures.” Moving pictures, affected by the expansion and compression of time through editing. The moment we add depth into this time-based medium we’re in trouble, because we are changing depth in every cut. Notice how the most immersive 3D films were the thrill rides at Universal. No cuts, just one continuous take, and all dependant on a continual forward motion, travelling ever deeper into the scenes.
Not all films are thrill rides, yet those bean-counters who saw the box office of Avatar suddenly saw 3D as the next step in film evolution. It doesn’t help that James Cameron is blowing that horn as well, and that’s troubling. It’s like trying to convince us that picture books are cool, but pop-up books are better. I prefer my succession of pictures viewed without gadgetry.